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Queen's University at Kingston 





King's Bench Division. High Court of Justice for Ontario. 

In response to the toast "Canada " at the dinner of the Canadian Society of New York, 
Delmonico's. Tuesday, 7th December, 1909. 

Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

I am moved by no mere conventionality, but it is 
from the very bottom of my heart that I say that I 
am glad to be here to-night. 

I envy my friend Dr. Macdonald his Keltic 
eloquence and fervor — I must admit that I fear I am 
but a Sassenach — while, however, I cannot hope 
wholly to succeed in the pleasant duty imposed upon 
me, with such a subject and with such an audience, 
it is impossible that I can wholly fail. 

I recognize that I am speaking in large part to 
those who claim Canada as Fatherland, but who are 
now dwelling under a flag differing from that whose 
folds guarded their birth, and some of whom at least 
now are citizens of a State which is not that to which 
their ancestors owed allegiance. Yet in the eyes of 
a Canadian, they have not become foreigners or 
aliens; nor is that State by any Briton considered 
foreign or alien. And I, for one, refuse to consider 


myself a foreigner in the midst of a nation whose 
people speak the language which is that my 
infant tongue learned at a mother's knee, and are 
governed by laws based upon the same fundamental 
principles as mine. The common ancestors of many 
— of most — of us laid deep and well the foundations 
of both speech and law — and peoples who speak the 
English language and obey the English Common Law 
cannot be alien or foreign to each other. 

While many Canadians are not of the same race 
and do not speak the same language nor are they 
governed by the same system of law, yet they, too, 
look upon this nation in the same spirit as their 
fellow-Canadians of British ancestry. 

Nor are the nations enemies or antagonistic, 
except indeed in that rivalry which is open to brother 
as to foe — the ways of trade are open to all, and 
each people will make the laws, levy the tariffs and 
impose the restrictions conceived to be best calculated 
to advance their own interests. War, open or 
masked, there is not — there has not been open war 
for nearly one hundred years ; and it is inconceivable 
that it can ever again be. " Blood is thicker than 
water," and all the waters of the sea or of the Great 
Lakes cannot wholly sever those whom blood unites. 

Notwithstanding the change of allegiance, the 
heart of those who have thus become citizens of the 
United States must needs turn to the Land of the 
Maple — for " their clime not their soul they change, 
who cross the sea " — and once a Canadian alwa3^s a 

And some there are who remain, not only in senti- 
ment, but also in fact and in law, citizens of our beau- 


tiful Dominion, though they reside and do business 
here in this, the cosmopolitan and metropolitan city 
of this mighty Union. 

It might — it would — have been sufficient honour 
to be asked to speak to these and to those about our 
native land; but the honour is increased when not 
only Canadians, but also Americans, are numbered 
amongst my audience — Americans, too, of no mean 
standing, men of light and leading in the community. 

I have said "Americans" — many of my com- 
patriots, I know, have girded — perhaps still do so — 
at the now universal custom of employing the word 
" American " to designate people of these States 
only excluding in its connotation us to the North. 
With that hypercriticism, I have never sympathized. 
We are not told that Pericles or Plato called himself 
a Greek, or that Caesar or Cicero complained that he 
was not called an Italian — while of a surety neither 
Cromwell nor Chatham was a European. Canada 
and Canadians have, and had, no reason to find fault 
that the title of the United States of America and 
of their representatives has become officially what it 
had long been in popular parlance. 

To you, my fellow- Canadians — whether still such 
in the view of international law or otherwise — and to 
you my fellow-guests belonging to the kindred nation. 
I bring greetings from the Northland — from our 
exquisite Lady of the Snows. 

Within a period measured by one generation of 
men, she has shaken off the fetters which bound her 
beautiful limbs, she has arisen from the state of 
lethargy in which too long she had sunk supine. With 


her proud face set, she has forced her way onward 
and upward to a place amid the nations of the earth 
— a sister not unworthy to stand by the side of her 
older and stronger and richer brother to the South. 

What is Canada f 

From the land of Evangeline and Gabriel, Nova 
Scotia by the sounding sea, with her hardy fishermen, 
her wealth of fruit, her stores of coal and of gold; 
through Prince Edward Island, the true New Scot- 
land of the Western Continent, but blest with soil and 
climate denied to the old, and New Brunswick, with 
her forests and farms, we come to old Quebec, the 
home of the habitant, but the home, too, of the poet 
and of the statesman. Her cities — Montreal, nestling 
under her historic mountain, at the head of naviga- 
tion and at the receipt of custom, the busy mart for 
half a continent, a competitor not to be despised by 
any, not even by this mighty city ; Quebec, called by 
her admirers a bit of the Middle Ages set down in the 
present, does not, upon the heights where fought and 
died Wolfe and Montcalm, sit idly contemplating her 
own beauty and charm, and so fail to hear at her door 
the insistent knock of trade or omit to answer the call 
of commerce. The fields of the old Province are 
recovering their former fertility — and if it be said 
that some of her people are not sufficiently alive to 
material and financial progress, it may not be 
forgotten that it is not always those who are care- 
ful and troubled about many things, who receive the 
Master's approval: it was Mary who had chosen the 
better part — and she but sat and listened. My own 
Province of Ontario — Ontario, the Queen Province 


— it was no vain boast when the Speaker of her Legis- 
lative Assembly spoke of her as the first Province of 
the first Dominion of the first Empire the world has 
ever seen — Ontario, with her orchards and vineyards, 
her splendid farms and her noble forests, her flocks 
and herds upon a thousand hills, her busy cities and 
towns, her educational institutions second to none on 
the continent (boasting as she does of her universi- 
ties, her common schools are not neglected) , supports 
a happy and prosperous people from the peach groves 
of the Peninsula to where at Coe Hill and Copper 
Cliff and Cobalt and Gowganda, a beneficent Provi- 
dence before the dawn of time, when the world was in 
the making, hid deep in the womb of the rock, copper 
and nickel, silver and gold and iron for the use of the 
twentieth century Canadian. Manitoba, small in 
extent but great in influence — whose name is a house- 
hold word wherever the English language is spoken, 
whose wheat fixes the highest standard for a world's 
market. And Canada's latest progeny, the twin sisters 
of the plain, with rolling prairie and flowing river, 
whose soil but needs to " be tickled with the hoe to 
laugh into a harvest "—with ear listening for the 
tramp of the coming millions, their arms are open 
wide to receive from the nations of the earth, men 
who desire to win a competency or a livelihood 
through honest toil— though indeed they have no 
room in all their ample bosom for the tramp or the 
laggard or the criminal. They welcome with especial 
joy the returning Canadian, who, having sought in 
the West and South his fortune, learns now that the 
plains of the Dakotas are not to be compared with 


the new-found plains of his own land, and he comes 
home — home — bringing with him not seldom neigh- 
bour or friend of another nationality to share the 
opportunities of this new and golden West. British 
Columbia, no longer resenting the epithet, " Sea of 
Mountains," since Eossland and Crow's Nest have 
produced their millions — the Highlands of the West, 
with her lovely valleys of fruit, her mighty trees and 
her harbours where a world's fleet might serenely 
float — a paradise for the sportsman, abounding in 
fish and game, but offering a home where labour must 
find compensation. 

And to the North, it is no longer but the Call of 
the Wild luring the adventurous — hard-headed busi- 
ness man finds his account in the cities of the Yukon, 
the gold hunter is no longer the single-handed pioneer 
wielding the solitary pick or rocking the lonely 
cradle — her rivers and plains are exploited by thou- 
sands and capital finds there its due reward. 

Surely the lines are fallen unto us in pleasant 
places ; yea, we have a goodly heritage. 

But I am reminded that not expanse of territory 
or riches can make a nation great: 

" What constitutes a State? 
Not high- raised battlement or laboured mound, 
Thick wall or moated gate, 

Not cities proud with spires and turrets crowned, 
Not bays and broad armed ports, 
Where laughing at the storm rich navies ride. 


No, Men, high-minded men, 
Men who their duties know, 

But know their rights, and knowing dare maintain. 
* * * # # 

These constitute a State." 
So (imitating indeed the ancient Greek of twenty- 
five centuries ago) wrote one who, born in a free 
State and spending much of his youth in the study 
of antiquity, gave most of his mature manhood to the 
service of Britain among the people of the East — he 
knew the people of England, of modern Europe and 
of India by personal converse, the people of the olden 
time through the written record. And who can gain- 
say this judgment of this Judge and Scholar ? 

Does the Canadian measure up to this standard? 
Do we our duties know? 

Our duty is to make the most and the best of 
ourselves and of our opportunities — to live the life 
of a patriot and good citizen. Boasting were easy, 
self -flattery is the most seductive of all vices, and I 
would strive not to fall into the mistake of closing 
my eyes to the truth because it may be displeasing. 
No people is perfect, and mine own may be no nearer 
perfection than others ; but this I say fearlessly and 
confidently, that Canadians are as a whole alive to 
their responsibilities, and that they do not forget. 

In commerce, our ships are found in every sea, 
the product of our factories in every mart ; our rail- 
ways stretch from ocean to ocean, and from the Great 
Lakes far toward the realm of ice and snow; the 
forest and mountain solitudes of our giant land are 
being exploited and the plains made to blossom as the 


rose. Our wheat is a staple in Liverpool, our cattle 
supply the markets of the Old World ; cheese, butter, 
fruit from Canada are all of the best and recognized 
as of the best. Never has Canada placed her foot in 
a market to withdraw it except where forced to do so 
by hostile tariff. 

Once it seemed as though we should be a mere 
appanage (commercially) of this greater commun- 
ity to the South — the gods decided otherwise. The 
Eeciprocity treaty, procured with so much trouble, 
was denounced; and Canada had necessarily to seek 
other markets. Much suffering ensued — I know 
whereof I speak — but no word of weak complaining 
was heard — the United States had a right to do as 
they did, and hard hit as Canada was, she recognized 
that right. But she had then to seek new markets — 
and, what was more difficult, must adapt her output 
to the new markets. Time and again was the attempt 
made to procure more favourable consideration for 
her products from the authorities at Washington. As 
often was the attempt a failure — and, unless all signs 
fail, it will not be made again. While welcoming 
any advance, a high-spirited people will not risk a 
new rebuff. And the manner in which my country 
has gone through her years of trouble and anxiety, 
of penury and care, till now, with her new avenues 
of trade well beaten and her commerce thoroughly 
established, she can look the whole world in the face 
and challenge admiration, is known to all who keep 
track of the world's commercial and industrial 

Mistakes have been made as of course — people 


who do not make mistakes, do not make anything else 
— but neither man nor nation can afford to waste 
time in regrets and compunctions about the past — 
the present is ours, and that is all that is ours — and I 
much mistake the temper of my countrymen if they 
are not determined to make the very most of that 
golden present. We treasure no resentment — wisdom 
will never let us stand unnecessarily with any man or 
nation on an unfriendly footing. Wholly recognizing 
that every nation of necessity has, and should exer- 
cise, the right to make a customs tariff to suit itself, 
my people say they, too, will do what is right in their 
own eyes. We did not seek a tariff war with Ger- 
many, but we did not wince or falter when it came. 

Tt is not enough that a country should offer oppor- 
tunities for acquiring wealth, whether by lucky 
strike or by industry and economy, if that were to be 
the prey of the first comer with strong hand or suc- 
cessful fraud — nor can that be called a happy land in 
which the assassin or private foe lurks at every 
corner and slays with impunity. 

Canada has ever held life and property in respect. 
Lynching is unknown even in the wilds and mining 
camps of our great West and North ; and, so far as I 
ever heard, there have been only two cases of white- 
capping. In each case, the amateur practitioners had 
a term in prison to teach them to leave the law to its 
proper officers. 

There is an inbred respect for law — and as one 
engaged in the administration of the law from day to 
day, I can confidently say this respect is deserved — 
(I am, of course, not speaking of myself). Crime 
except amongst those recently arrived from other 


countries is rare. For example, in my own experi- 
ence, of those who have been convicted before me of 
murder but one was a Canadian ; the others, a negro, 
a Bulgarian, an Italian, a Macedonian, an English- 
man. We have the thief and the perjurer, the thug 
and the burglar, like all other peoples; but I say, 
without fear of successful contradiction, that the per- 
centage of such among our native Canadians is very 
low indeed. 

When the Lord appeared to the Israelite shepherd, 
He said to him: "Amos, what seest thou?" and Amos 
answered: " A plumb line." Our people have seen a 
plumb line and adopted that as a symbol in their 
administration of the law. The plumb line of exact 
justice may, and does, waver to the one side or the 
other, moved by the breath of prejudice or sympathy, 
but it ever seeks the vertical, the upright. The abso- 
lute perpendicular we may not always attain, but the 
endeavour is always for it. 

In the field of political and constitutional rights, 
those we now enjoy have not been attained without 
labour — in many cases even danger. It has not been 
given to Canadians to wrest their rights from an 
oppressor as the result of successful rebellion. 
Whether it be an advantage that rights should be 
obtained or national life begun by successful 
armed and violent resistance to constituted author- 
ity, I leave to the philosophic statesman to dis- 
cuss — that has not been the way in which we 
have obtained our rights — rather by a gradual recog- 
nition of the fact that we Englishmen on this side 
of the Atlantic are entitled to all the rights and privi- 


leges enjoyed by those on the other. But the history of 
1837 in Upper and in Lower Canada, the lives of 
Gourlay and Mackenzie and Papineau, and their con- 
temporaries, show that whenever it was believed that 
rights were being withheld, there were those who were 
willing if necessary to seal their faith with their blood. 
Many a noble man bore a musket as loyalist in these 
troubled times, and some whose memory I reverence 
were on the other side. I would not, then, be con- 
sidered here as passing judgment upon the merits of 
those I have named, or approving or disapproving of 
the rebellion of 1837 in Upper or in Lower Canada — 
that is, moreover, a controversial question into which 
I have no right to enter. Who was right and who 
was wrong — or whether both sides were right and 
both wrong — must be left to history to decide; but 
however the answer turn out, the rebel and the loyal- 
ist both showed the courage of his convictions and 
armed himself to fight for what he believed to be 

It was well said by the philosopher of New Eng- 
land, " Only such persons interest us, Spartans, 
Romans, Saracens, English, Americans, who have 
stood in the jaws of need, and have by their own wit 
and might extricated themselves, and made man 

Those who founded and guided our nascent coun- 
try wholly fulfil Emerson's conditions. 

It were to take up too much of your time if I were 
to speak of the early French settlers, of the life and 
death struggle, frequently repeated, with the fero- 
cious and wily aborigines, of the devoted missionary 


and priest armed but with the Qqoss, carrying the 
bread of life to the pagan enemy, the coureur de bois 
more Indian than the Indian, the hunter and trapper, 
the courtly Governor and Council, garbed in the 
silken raiment and graced with all the courtliness of 
the ancien regime, the Seigneur with his mediaeval 
rights and privileges and the sturdy habitant, 
descendant of Norman peasant but with the best 
blood of Europe in his veins — not blue blood, indeed, 
but rich red blood, making and sustaining a man to 
be depended upon in every contingency. 

Nor may I speak of those further East, in 
" Acadie, home of the happy/' of those 

' ' Acadian farmers — 
Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water the 

Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an 

image of heaven, ' ' 

living in seeming a life all idle and dully prosaic, yet 
looked at by eye of the poet so full of the truest of 
romance, there in that " forest primeval," where 

"Murmuring pines and the hemlocks, 
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct 

in the twilight, 
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices, sad and pro- 
phetic — 
Stand like harpers hoar with beards that rest on their 



" Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced 

neighbouring ocean 
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the 

wail of the forest." 

I prefer rather to speak of what lies nearer home 
and more affects Canada as I know it. 

At the time of the Revolutionary War, many 
whose loyalty to their Sovereign and to their 
flag was more potent than attachment to the land 
of their birth or desire to retain their worldly 
goods, came to the wilds of the Northland — these 
United Empire Loyalists whose history is all too 
little known, martyrs to principle — wrong-headed, 
if you like, or nobly right, as may be thought 
— endured suffering and want, cold and hunger, 
because they could not forswear their allegiance. 
" Endured," did I say? Nay, all their own 
physical suffering was little in comparison with 
the torture of soul with which they were forced to 
witness the tenderly nurtured wife, born to be the 
happy mistress of a wealthy home, and the babe which 
had been cradled in silk, subjected to hardships which 
would have tried a veteran — a stoic. Whatever may 
be thought of the wisdom of their principles — and 
that, I am free to admit, may in this land be a matter 
of opinion, in mine there is but one — their conduct 
in sacrificing all to principle is deserving of nothing 
but admiring approbation. Two champions there 
are to whose ward I leave the fair fame of these 
heroes when but their tale is fairly told — one, the 
Union soldier, who gave up all and took his life in 
his hand that the flag he loved might continue to float 


over a united people ; the other, also a soldier, who, 
leaving his wife and little ones in the care of the faith- 
ful black, followed the banner of his State. Now, no 
better or more loyal citizen of the United States than 
he ; and yet — and yet — 

" Sometimes with eyes that are dim with tears 
The burial-ground of the past he'll tread, 
And raise the lid of vanished years, 
And gaze upon his dead." 

Over the face of his dead lies an old silken rag, 
smoke-stained and bullet-torn ; but it is with reverent 
and loving hands that he lifts it, for his dead is the 
" lost cause," and that rag was once the battle flag 
of Robert E. Lee. 

But a few years passed away after these United 
Empire Loyalists made their new home, when trouble 
broke out with their separated brethren to the South. 
The Mother Country, sorely pressed on all sides, was 
verifying the proud boast of her ancient King — 

" Come the three corners of the world in arms, 
And we shall shock them. Nought shall make us 

If England to itself do rest but true." 

She could not at once do all for the defence or the 
rescue of her imperilled child; and Canada had in 
great part to depend upon herself in her hour of need. 
How she bore herself may be read in history — and no 
Canadian — as no American — reads that history with 
shame — though, indeed, he must with sorrow, that 
the wholly unnecessary and inexcusable fratricidal 
strife was ever waged. 


Of the troublous times, a quarter of a century 
thereafter, in 1837 and 1838, I have already said a 
word, and shall not enlarge. 

Then we had peace for thirty years. In 1866 a 
horde of outlaws invaded our shores. Our freemen 
flew to arms — farmer, clerk, tradesman and student 
vied with each other as to who should be the most 
alert. An English officer tells with wonder and 
admiration of mere boys of the University company 
breaking out in indignant tears when ordered to leave 
the ranks on account of their extreme youth. The 
University of Toronto has on her campus and in her 
halls, memorials of her dead — who went to meet 
death, and met it, for Canada. 

But " Exegerunt monumentum aere perennius," 
and so long as Canadian heart continues to beat, so 
long as Canadian soul shall live, so long will the 
memory of these slaughtered undergraduate lads be 
kept green. 

The fiasco of 1870-1871 found gallant Quebec as 
ready to meet the invader as her sister province had 
been a few years before. Quebec had not, thank God, 
to mourn sons slain in her defence — but the sons were 
ready even for that sacrifice. 

Two years before, the half insane Riel raised the 
standard of revolt at Winnipeg — and Canadian 
troops again proved their mettle, in traversing forest 
and swamp in wet and cold and all the privations 
men can suffer. They did not need to fight, but 
Wolseley's expedition in 1869-70 bears testimony to 
the endurance and valour of our people. 

And in that last and worst struggle in our North- 
West, not twenty-five years ago, when Indian and 


half-breed went on the warpath and a blow must be 
struck quick and hard, Fish Creek and Cut Knife tell 
of the volunteer from the plough and the counter, the 
farm and the desk. 

Not on the plains of our Fatherland alone — 
not only does Chateauguay call to Bidgeway and 
Ridgeway to Battlef ord ; but in other lands have our 
people quitted them like men. From the walls of 
Kars, where, during the Crimean War, the Cana- 
dian Williams for weary months after hope had fled 
all others, withstood the Russian to Paardeberg, won 
by Canadian dash and valour, the Empire has not had 
a stricken field whereon Canadians did not fight. 

Some there are within these walls who can say, 
like him who addresses you, that in the dark days of 
the Empire, when her sun was suffering an eclipse, 
and it seemed almost as though that sun might set 
forever, they awaited with dread the next cable 
despatch lest it might contain amongst the valiant 
slain the name of a brother — there may be some who 
can say, like that brother, that a dear friend laid his 
tall length along the South African karroo pierced 
by the enemy's bullet through that staunch and 
gallant heart which had brought him from his own 
beautiful Nova Scotia to the defence of our common 

The monument of those who died is rising upon 
*the Queen's Park Avenue in Toronto — it was not 

Canadians can hold their own, too, in other 
fields than those of war. I do not speak of her jurists 
— that were to be guilty of praising my own order — 
but not further to speak of her commerce, agricul- 


ture and manufactures, no tariff can exclude the work 
of her writers — her poets and novelists. In the field 
of philosophy, of science, medicine, surgery, she is 
not unknown. New York and Baltimore, London 
and Harvard, Liverpool and Oxford, all have seen, 
and still hold, her sons, and count them not below 
their best. 

Canada has been built up largely without the 
assistance of any other people. She owes practically 
everything to herself except that greatest blessing of 
all — peace. For peace we can never be sufficiently 

It has been the reign of peace almost continuously 
prevailing which has enabled us to become what we 
are — I mean peace internationally — our internal dis- 
turbances have done no real harm such as external 
warfare would almost necessarily have caused. 

Until within the present century, there appeared 
no possibility of any enemy assailing us except from 
the immediate South — and it is a matter for sincere 
gratitude to Providence that for nearly one hundred 
years there never arose dispute so acute — (though 
some have been acute) — misunderstanding so great 
— (though misunderstandings there have been) — 
that brother needed to rise against brother, children 
deriving from the same mighty loins to imbrue their 
hand in each other's blood. Neither sympathizer of 
1837 nor invader of 1866 truly represented this 
Republic : and the United States of America has not 
coveted the territory dividing her from the Pole. 

With the present century has come in the fear — 
half-veiled, indeed — that another nation may desire 
our land ; and we are called upon to prepare. If need 


be, I hope and I believe that Canadians will be found 
as ready and as devoted in the twentieth century as 
in the nineteenth — if that dread possibility become 
a certainty and Canada must fight to remain Canada 
and British (absit omen) she will not be found re- 
creant — the land where died Montcalm and Wolfe 
and Brock and the boys from the University of 
Toronto, has produced their like, and they will not 
be found wanting. 

What of the future? 

In material wealth, Canada's future is secure — 
her forests and mines and plains must of necessity 
make her rich, if but her career be not checked by 
some external force — and that I do not dread. In 
education, in the sense for justice and right, in all 
that makes life worth living, there is likewise nothing 
to fear. The heart of the people is sound and their 
instincts will, on the whole, prevent them going 
far astray. 

How will her destiny be best served? 

Here I must speak with diffidence, though none 
the less with a strong conviction, which I believe to 
be well-founded. 

Until within a very few years there did exist 
amongst us a number of citizens, some of them of in- 
fluence, who, secretly, if not openly, held the view that 
it was the manifest destiny of Canada to become part 
of the greater union of States. Some here and there 
to be found rather desired it. With the exception of 
a very few indeed — and, in the open, with the excep- 
tion of one man, who is not a Canadian (by birth at 
least), such a feeling does not now exist. 

Into the merits of the Venezuela Message, I have 


not the right and certainly not the desire to enter— 
whether justified or not, in matter or in manner, is for 
history, when all the facts are known, to say. I know 
that it has been strongly asserted that that message 
was written in the interest of peace alone, and that the 
great President, Grover Cleveland, believed that it 
was the most certain if not the only way to preserve 
peace between the two great English-speaking 
nations. But however that may be, it is certain that 
after that message and, I think, largely because of it, 
all sentiment for union with the United States ceased 
to exist, at least so far as any open expression is 

There is no fear or hope (put it each one as he 
will) that Canada will ever form part of the Ameri 
can Union — there must be two, not one, great English- 
speaking nations upon this continent. I am assum- 
ing — as indeed the contrary is to me inconceivable — 
that the nation which showed the world an example of 
self-abnegation in the case of Cuba may be trusted 
never to grasp a territory occupied by those who will 
not freely and gladly receive it or force an unwilling 
people to unite their destinies with those of the Union. 

Nor do I think that ever we will cease to belong to 
the British Empire. 

Canada, unless all our history prove misleading 
and the future wholly belies the past, must continue a 
part of that nation upon whose flag the sun never sets. 
Daniel Webster nearly seventy years ago spoke of 
that Empire even then as " a power to which Rome in 
the height of her glory is not to be compared — a power 
which has dotted over the surface of the whole 
globe with her possessions and military posts, whose 


morning drumbeat following the sun and keeping 
company with the hours, circles the earth with one 
continuous and unbroken strain of the martial airs 
of England." And since then what an advance! 

Whether, indeed, we shall continue to be in a man- 
ner apart from the stream of world-politics, leaving 
international relations largely in the hands of our 
brethren across the sea — or whether we shall enter 
into a closer relationship with our fellow-subjects in 
the British Isles and so with those in the other Do- 
minions and Commonwealth under the same flag, 
thereby ceasing to occupy the position of daughter 
and taking that rather of sister, is upon the knees of 
the gods — or rather of God. 

One thing is certain. 

There will be by the Mother Country no inter- 
meddling with our purely domestic affairs — any more 
than there will be intermeddling by Canadians or 
Australians or New Zealanders or South Africans 
with the purely domestic questions of England or 
Wales or Scotland or Ireland. The desire is wanting 
— it has been recognized that people of our race must 
govern themselves whether they govern themselves 
well or ill — this is of the genius of our people ; and 
the right can never be surrendered. 

But we cling to British connection with a sincere 
affection and a whole heart — the tie which binds us 
is not simply the legal and constitutional bond and not 
alone the silver cord of sentiment, but also the heart- 
felt conviction that there exists no single agency for 
good in the world at the present time to be compared 
with the British Empire. Great is Britain and she 
has made great mistakes ; but with all her faults, she 


stands in the very forefront in the struggle for right 
and freedom. I do not belittle the tremendous influ- 
ence for good wielded by this Union — Portsmouth 
and Pekin and Cuba can speak — and I look forward 
to the Union increasing her already great interna- 
tional power, and taking her rightful place in the poli- 
tics of the world. And yet without detracting from 
the importance of this Union, not only in its history, 
but in its present practice, I am sure that Canadians, 
at least, do not admit that Britain lags to the rear in 
all that is just and right. 

So we have made our choice, an irrevocable choice : 
our statesmen vie with each other in showing loyalty 
to the Crown and all classes are ardent supporters of 
British connection. Even the school children 
throughout our broad land, in shrill sweet treble are 

" Live for your flag, O Builders of the North! 

For age to age shall glorify its worth : 

Of precious blood, its red is dyed, 

The white is honour's sign, 

Through weal or ruth, its blue is truth, 

Its might the Power Divine. 

Live for your flag, O Builders of the North ! 

Canada ! Canada ! in God go forth!" 
The future of Canada is indissolubly united with 
that of Britain, and the patriot's eye must ever turn 
in her. direction. It is impossible not to recognize 
that dark clouds are ever forming, any of which may, 
some of which almost inevitably will, break over her 

Her desire and her dearest aim is Peace — by and 
in peace she must gain in wealth and in power. She 


may well dread war — dread — not with a coward's 
fear — that she never felt and cannot feel — but with 
a well-grounded anticipation of loss in treasure and 
in blood. War cannot increase, it may diminish, her 
prestige — and every possible motive exists why she 
should do all in her power to avoid war. 

I need not speak of the horrors of war — the word 
itself is enough. 

I hesitate to say what now presses to my lips — and 
am emboldened to say it only by the fact that in two 
gatherings within this Union in which I was the only 
Canadian, I said it in almost the words I shall now 
employ — and without rebuke. 

The cynical philosopher said, "The finest nations 
in the world — the English and the American — are go- 
ing all away into wind and tongue. " In the first part 
of this saying, Carlyle showed himself the philoso- 
pher ; in the latter, but the dyspeptic cynic. Since that 
saying, the world has witnessed the Cuban expedi- 
tion and that up the Nile; the old blood is still 
regnant; " noblesse oblige " still the motto of the two 

No man and no nation can venture to advise this 
mighty Union. What the United States will or 
should do, is to be determined by the United States 
alone — and any advice would be sheer impertinence. 
But many a heart, not American, was glad when this 
nation acquired territory not on the North American 
Continent — knowing that this of necessity meant that 
the United States with or without her desire must now 
take some greater part in world-politics — take her 
share of "the white man's burden." And when she 
began to build a navy commensurate with her great- 


ness and importance in the world some saw with the 
eye of faith two twin fleets sailing forth together 
under the flags which float over kindred freemen — 
these fleets bearing the single mandate, " There shall 
be no more war." My Sovereign, who amongst all his 
titles, treasures most that which is unofficial, Edward 
the Peacemaker, has his due influence in preserving 
peace ; the President of the United States, perhaps as 
much, possibly still more. Some there are, however, 
who recognize only force. But when such a fleet shall 
sail with such a mandate, there will be no more war 
— or only one. They who are mad enough to disobey 
the command of the Admirals of that united fleet 
will bitterly rue their temerity — and their disobedi- 
ence will be the last. 

It may indeed be that this vision is doomed not to 
become a reality — it may be that the Union Jack and 
the Stars and Stripes will never float together over a 
mighty Armada fitted out for the preservation of 
peace — and it may indeed be that there will never 
be a treaty of paper and ink between the two 
nations. But to my mind it is impossible that they 
will not continue to remain united by what is stronger 
and more abiding than a parchment roll — "for the 
letter killeth and the spirit giveth life" — it is certain 
as the immutable laws of morals that peoples of like 
origin, of like tongue, of like institutions and of like 
aspirations, shall stand and march, and if need be 
fight, side by side. And it must be that peoples with 
their history and traditions shall thus be and continue 
side by side for right and justice and peace among 
the nations of the earth.